Saturday the 19th March
On the 16th day of the hunger-strike, a delegate of the prefecture of Pas de Calais came to hear the demands of the 9 hunger-strikers.He arrived with a following of police but he spoke only French and did not bring any translators, so other people had to translate from French to English and from English to Farsi.
The delegate tried to convince them to finish the hunger strike, offering: ‘immediate housing’ in a CAO, a fast track asylum assessment and a guarantee not to be deported back to Iran. But the hunger strikers never asked for an extra treatment for them self. They asked to be listened to, they asked for a change for everyone who is forced to live in the camp in calais.
On the 17th day of the hunger-strike, he came back, (still without any translators), to pass on papers signed by the prefecture who were supposed to give answers to their demands. But instead these papers completely ignoring everything that was talked about in the previous day.
He continued to try and convince everyone about this ‘solution’ of moving to a CAO or the container camp, in exchange of stopping the hunger-strike. They repetitively had to answer him how this hunger-strike is not for themselves/their cases, but for all the refugees in Europe.
He gave no answer to their demands, even though this strike is becoming very critical, already 3 people have collapsed and 2 of them were hospitalized. During this second lengthy meeting, 2 hunger-strikers had to leave due to dizzyness and exhaustion.
On the 18th day of the hunger-strike, the delegate returned with paperwork to sign, stating that they have been informed of two options; 1. To go and stay in a CAO. 2. To go and stay in the container camp in Calais. And a box for both options to tick whether ‘I accept this proposal’ or ‘I refuse this proposal’. He also mentioned that if they do not agree to move to the container camp then he will stop further negotiations.
Everyone is very disappointed with the outcome of these meetings. It was a lot of time and energy just to be told the same things that they knew months and months before they sewed their mouths shut. They didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, after 18 days of not eating and the Prefecture barely addressed any of their demands.